GREAT FALLS — Alluvion Health has closed on the purchase of the former Roosevelt School in Great Falls.
For 90 years, Roosevelt was dedicated to reading, writing and arithmetic. But now the historic building will serve another important purpose, offering much needed health services to the Great Falls community.
The building has come a long way in its nearly century of existence.
“It was built in 1927 for a cost of $80,050,” said Great Falls Public School Director of Business Operations Brian Patrick.
It was decommissioned in 2018 as part of the Great Falls School District’s master plan. When the district sold bonds, Roosevelt was used as a satellite school as other schools were being built.
And most recently, it served as a remote learning center due to COVID for the 2021-22 school year.
Now it will serve another vital purpose. Alluvion plans to convert the first floor into a pediatric clinic. It will also include autism spectrum services and employer-sponsored childcare.
“We have a big need not only for pediatric services but childcare and autism services in the community,” said Alluvion’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, Kate Nessan. “So when the opportunity to purchase this building came up, we were excited about moving forward.”
Nessan says if all goes according to plan, phase one will be completed in 2024. She says there is some remediation work that needs to be done. She added that Alluvion plans to keep the gymnasium intact. Nessan says Alluvion hopes to have a better idea of design and architecture in the next couple of months. The second phase will be converting the second and third floor into 16 housing units before the end of 2025.
The deal bolsters an already strong bond between the two organizations.
“We’ve had a long-standing partnership with the Great Falls Public Schools and we’re glad to be able to continue the legacy of the building just in a new way,” said Nessan.
“It’s good for our schools, we want to see it continue to be used for a useful purpose in our community and there probably couldn’t be a better partner to sell it to to do that,” said Patrick.
The purchase price was $899,000. That money will be set aside for other school improvements.
“By law we have to put it in a certain fund,” said Patrick. “We’ve decided to put it in the building fund so it will be repurposed into roofs and construction projects throughout the district.”
The final bell may have rung, but Roosevelt’s story seems far from finished.
“The building has a ton of history,” said Nessan. “Thousands of children and hundreds of teachers and administrators and community members have ties to that building. So it’s very beloved it’s a treasured place in our community and I think people are excited to see it come back to life.”
This isn’t the only historic building Alluvion is renovating. The organization has also purchased the Rocky Mountain Building in downtown Great Falls and plans on offering services there in the summer of 2024.
According to a Great Falls Public Schools historical record, the original plans for Roosevelt were accepted by the school board in March of 1919. However, the only bid for construction was an estimated $110,000 over the estimated cost and the bid was rejected. Seven years later, the $80,050 bid was accepted, and construction was completed in November of 1927. An addition costing $80,000 was added in 1935. Another addition was added in 1955 at a cost of $38,628.
The school had 14 principals during its history, starting with Clara Christison from 1928 to 1932 and ending with Rhonda Zobrak who served from 2007 to 2018.
(JUNE 1, 2018) Friday marked the end of the 90th and final year at Roosevelt Elementary School. Next year, they will be moving to a new location at Giant Springs Elementary School.
Roosevelt is currently the oldest operating building in Great Falls Public Schools. The school needed many upgrades and ultimately it was decided that it would be better to move to a new location.
The school held their annual end of the year ceremony today, where awards were presented to teachers moving on in their career as well as teachers ending their career with retirement.
The teachers ended the ceremony with a dance and replacing their Roosevelt Elementary t-shirts with brand new Giant Springs t-shirts.
Every year, the 6th grade students at Roosevelt who will move to a new school the next school year, end their final day at the school with a parade around the halls and out the building to receive their final high fives from fellow classmates and teachers.
This year, since it was everyone’s final day at the school, all students got to receive their final high fives at the school.
Rhonda Zobrak, principal of Roosevelt, said, “This year we just wanted to make it special for everyone, because of course the kindergarten through fifth graders don’t have that opportunity to come down this set of stairs since it’s their school too. So, we just extended it to include everyone.”
It is not yet known what will happen to the building.
Students will start their next school year at Giant Springs Elementary on August 29th.